The Cleveland Browns had their game against the Las Vegas Raiders delayed from Saturday to Monday afternoon due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Cleveland locker room, but the date getting pushed back doesn’t seem that it will help the Browns get more players available for the game.
Starting quarterback Baker Mayfield and backup Case Keenum remain on the COVID-19 list as the Browns are set to host the Raiders at 5 p.m. on Monday.
They’re among the 19 Cleveland players unavailable after testing positive or being deemed a close contact to someone with the virus, including co-starting running back Kareem Hunt, edge rushers Jadeveon Clowney and Ifeadi Ogenigbo, wide receiver Jarvis Landry, tight end Austin Hooper and tackles James Hudson and Jedrick Wills.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski will also miss the game. Steelers fans will recall that Stefanski missed Cleveland’s Wild Card playoff win over Pittsburgh at the end of last season. Special teams coordinator Michael Priefer will take over for Stefanski.
Without Mayfield and Keenum, the Browns will turn to fourth-year veteran Nick Mullens, who had been the team’s practice squad quarterback.
Mullens spent the previous three seasons as a backup with the San Francisco 49ers. He has passed for 4,714 yards, 25 touchdowns and 22 interceptions in his NFL career.
The Browns are in a virtual tie with the Steelers for third place in the AFC North, with Cleveland at 7-6 and Pittsburgh at 7-6-1. The Browns can move into a three-way tie with Baltimore and Cincinnati for the top spot in the division with a win.
With a 2-1 record in games between the teams compared to 1-1 for Cincinnati and 1-2 for Baltimore, the Browns would own first place in the AFC North with a win. They would fall into last place with a loss.